A Letter From Ruth
December 24, 2020
Two years ago, Isabel Allende joined us at SAL to talk about life, love, writing, grief, and her then-new novel, In the Midst of Winter (listen to that talk here). The novel begins with an epigram from Camus: “In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer.” As we navigate what are literally the darkest days of 2020, I’ve been thinking a lot of these words, and of what it means to find and celebrate the light within each of us.
For me, and I suspect for many of you, books both spark and feed that internal light. And while 2020 has been a year of unparalleled darkness, it has also been a year that has reminded me of the importance of connection and community. It has been a year that has given me hope for change and learning and healing and returning light. At SAL, we’ve heard from incredibly enlightening voices—from Dr. Carol Anderson to Margaret Atwood to Claudia Rankine to Tana French to Yamiche Alcindor to the WITS students who have appeared on our virtual stages. Each writer invited us to look and think deeply, to pay attention, and to work for a more just world.
If you need a last-minute gift for any of the book lovers in your life, our new SAL gift cards go perfectly in any stocking (and even better when paired with a gift certificate to a local bookstore, restaurant, or something from the SAL gift guide). And, if you have ideas on who you would like to see at SAL next season, I’d love to hear from you. As the year draws to a close, and now three days past our darkest point, I’m wishing you light, and the books, conversations, and connections that will feed the invincible summers that lie within you. Thank you for being part of the light that feeds me.
All my best,